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228                           ELEPHANTS IN BRITAIN                            CHAP.
In the interstices of its teeth, was the signal for the disappearance
of their most colossal inhabitant.
The large number of remains of this and of other extinct
species of Mephas in this country gave rise to the supposi-
tion that they were Elephants brought over by Caesar to aid
in the subjugation of these islands. The Kev. J., Coleridge
(father of the poet) pointed out that though Caesar in his
Oommentaries made no mention of any such importation of
Elephants, a passage in the Stratagems of Polyaenus expressly
mentions that Cassivelaunus was confronted by the Romans with
an Elephant clad in a eoat of mail, by whose aid the crossing of
the Thames was effected. At the time that attention was called
to this (1*757) it was not popular to hint at the possibility
of fossils. So that fact, conveniently historical, served to
explain away a difficulty. It is remarkable that the Elephant,
common enough of course in. Asiatic monuments, actually occurs
in English architecture. Mr. Watkins, from whose interesting
work (Matured History of the Ancients) a good many of the facts
detailed here are drawn, tells us that the church of Otte'ry St.
Mary has an Elephant's head sculptured on one of its pillars.
The same ornament appears in G-osberfcon Church, Lincolnshire.
Whether this has anything to do with a reminiscence of formerly
existing Elephants is a hard question to answer. In this figure
of an Elephant the trunk has a spiral representation, and the
trunk of an Elephant is believed by some to be intended by the
common **so-called Pictish ornamentation" in Scotland; this
spiral alone is to be seen constantly. If it is a reduction of an
Elephant to its simplest terms, it is highly interesting as an
almost undoubted survival of remembrance of Elephants, For at
such a period we cannot use the memories of Crusaders or others
who may have visited the East to explain the facts. The
sculptured Elephants* heads might conceivably be so explained.
The name Mammoth, thinks Mr. Watkins, may be derivable
from the Arabic word Behemoth, He quotes a writer, who first
described the beast in 1694, as using the two words indifferently.
The Arabs, moreover, were then as they are now great ivory traders;
and in the ninth and the two succeeding centuries explored
tie confines of Siberia, as they now do the forests of Africa, for
ivory, The  Behemoth ** of Job "eateth grass as an ox. ... He
uuwBUt Ms.tail'like a, cedar ** (the Hippopotamus has a much more